Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and full name will be omitted – leaving your first name, initials or nickname, your preference.
In this week’s Ask Nathan:
- Is this the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser
- 2018 Mazda CX-3 vs Jeep Renegade
- Should I take my uncle’s 1996 Subaru SVX?
The first question comes from Toyota fan who saw a photo of what’s rumored to be the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser.
Q: (Nathanadlen@Twitter) Just saw this photo of what might be the 2021 Toyota Land Cruiser
Is this for real? If it is, do you have any info or rumors about it? I have a 2001 with almost 200,000 miles and its my favorite truck ever.
Props from Alberta!
A: Hi Danny!
Yes, I saw that image a little while back. While there is nothing confirming the new look from Toyota, we know they are preparing to seriously update the Toyota Land Cruiser. We know that it’s time for a redesign, but Toyota is pragmatic with all of their updates, so it’s hard to be sure.
Here’s what we hear (these are just rumors):
- Toyota is preparing an all-new platform that will support a new powertrain, body, suspension and will lower its overall weight.
- Many forums and fans say there is a V6 hybrid system (similar to the one being developed for the Toyota Tundra) and there could be a turbocharged V6.
- The transmission could go from an eight-speed to a ten speed.
- Toyota may use lighter components like aluminum, carbon fiber and high strength steel in this new Land Cruiser.
- The price will still be astronomical, at least $80,000 and it could hit the $100,000 mark for the higher end editions.
Currently, Toyota is building even moire luxurious versions of the current Land Cruiser for overseas’ markets.
While they are still called Land Cruisers, it’s odd that they don’t rebadge them as Lexus products.
Anyway, there is nothing solid coming out of Toyota – yet, but we’ll keep an eye on it.
The next question comes from a reader who is looking to buy either a 2018 Jeep Renegade or a 2018 Mazda CX-3.
Q: Hello TFL and the Nate-man! I was shopping for a CPO car and I’m torn between the 2018 Mazda CX-3 or the Jeep Renegade.
Look, I know they are different, but I wanted your opinion on which one is best for someone who lives in the Bay Area. Sometimes I camp from time to time and I own a kayak. No, I don’t really off road, but I do drive top some fire roads that my current 2015 Subaru Impreza has no problems with.
I have two medium sized dogs and I sometimes carry a mountain bike and I have no kids and I don’t really tow, other than using a hitch for my bike rack. So I wanted to know what you thought.
I can get both for about the same price and I am bot interested in any other options. I’m sick of Subaru and I dislike Nissan. The Toyota offering doesn’t have AWD and the Honda HR-V is a CVT. No thank you!
I remember reading one of your articles where you said that you had family run the Bay Area and that you were very familiar with the traffic and what works best in such an area. That’s why I’m sticking with small crossovers. I need to keep the size down and the utility up!
Let me know what you think and give my best to Andres and Roman!
A: Hi Ben!
I think you have two interesting choices and you’re right, they are very different. It is a matter of Tates to a certain degree, but both of these vehicles has their own pros and cons. I wanted to show both sides of the discussion below:
- Best handling: The Mazda CX-3 is a sports car compared to many other small crossovers in its class. It is agile and has excellent steering response.
- Most comfortable: The Jeep Renegade is more comfortable for passengers. It is cavernous by comparison and overall space is more useable than the Mazda too.
- Off-road and bad weather ability: The Jeep’s ground clearance and good articulation (compared to the Mazda) makes it a better bet. They work well in snow and, when properly equipped, are the best in their class off-road.
- Utility: Once again, the numbers favor the Jeep. Its boxy shape mixed with its logical storage solutions make for a more utilitarian vehicle. The Mazda is very tight inside and its utility is a bit compromised.
- Efficiency: The 2018 Mazda CX-3 gets 29 city / 34 highway while the 2018 Jeep Renegade gets 24 city / 31 highway (in Trailhawk trim). These numbers favor the Mazda.
- Towing and overhead cargo capacity: Both numbers seem to favor the Jeep Renegade. Mazda suggests that you not tow with the CX-3 at all. Still, you can get a tow hitch for cargo items – like a bike rack.
It looks like the Jeep Renegade edges out the Mazda CX-3 based on this criteria. That’s not to say that one aspect may be more important to you than another.
With that being said, I find both vehicles to be fun drivers.
Hope this helped!
The last question comes from fan about whether or not she should take her uncle’s 1996 Subaru SVX.
Q: Mr. Nathan. I hope you are having a good week. I live in Saint Paul, Minnesota and I’m about to start driving.
My uncle and my brother are both offering me their cars. My uncle has a 1996 Subaru SVX with just 63,000 miles on it. He had to stop driving it when he lost the use of his right leg after a stroke about ten years ago Since then he has loaned it out to family and friends when needed.
It’s like new except for the entertainment system that stopped working a few years ago. But it drives nice and its the car I used to pass my driver’s license test.
My brother said I could have his car. It’s a 1999 Nissan Maxima with 160 thousand miles on it. It runs good too and it has more space for people. It also has a great stereo system that my brother put in himself.
Both cars would cost me about the same to insure, but my uncle says the Subaru is better in winter. That’s important to me too. My brother says that with snow tires, it doesn’t matter. We always buy snow tires here.
Can you help me with my decision? I need a good car for the next three years until I head off to college.
Thank you so much!
A: Hi Alicia!
While both cars are solid choices, the extra mileage on the Nissan gives me pause. Sure, your brother’s stereo system may be amazing, but you can always have someone fix and/or install a good system in the Subaru SVX.
If you combine the AWD (all-wheel drive) system in the Subaru SVX with new snow tires, you will have an excellent snow vehicle.
The bottom line is, the Subaru SVX was one of my favorite vehicles of the 90s. It’s still an excellent vehicle and one that, with the low mileage and good condition you say it’s in, makes a good choice.
Yes, I would go with the Subaru SVX for sure.
Best of luck and let me know how it goes!
Speaking of good AWD cars…
From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: firstname.lastname@example.org.